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College of Arts & Sciences
First-Year English


Find Help at the Writing Center

Feeling overwhelmed by what your instructor expects out of your writing? Don't worry--you're not the first, and you're not alone. College-level writing is necessarily demanding and difficult. While our instructors try their best to be available to students, sometimes students need more help than the instructor has time to provide.  Fortunately, the University's Writing Center, staffed by well-trained writing consultants, many of whom also teach in the First-Year English program, is here to help.

What is the Writing Center and Who is eligible to use it?

The Writing Center is a valuable resource the English Department and the College of Arts and Sciencesprovide to all members of the USC community - students, faculty, and staff. Many people think the Writing Center provides only remedial help for "poor" writers. But all writers, from beginners to professionals, profit from having other people work with them. The Writing Center's mission is to help writers take advantage of all the learning opportunities for learning that exist within the writing process.

What sort of help does the Writing Center provide?

At the Writing Center, no matter your level of writing expertise, you will find experienced assistants to help you one-on-one with all phases of your writing process:

  • Getting started: choosing a topic, developing a thesis, writing an introduction.
  • Editing a draft: checking organization, the clarity of your argument, sentence structure, punctuation, usage.
  • Revising a paper your instructor has returned: deciphering symbols and comments, finding more effective ways of developing the topic.

Writing Center assistants will help you improve not only writing for any class but also personal writing, such as letters for scholarships, personal statements for professional school applications, and cover letters and résumés for job applications.

The Writing Center also offers late-afternoon and evening workshops on common writing topics.  Recent workshops include sessions especially designed for international student writers, English 101 and 102 students, law and professional school applicants, and graduate student writers.

How can I get in contact with the Writing Center?

Writing Center assistants work with you, not for you. Though they accept drop-in appointments, it is strongly recommend that you make an appointment ahead of time. To make sure you can schedule an appointment when you need it, call at least two or three days ahead - after mid-term, at least a week ahead. You may schedule one-hour appointments twice a week. To schedule an appointment, stop by the main office, 701 Byrnes, call (803) 777-2078, or visit our website.

If you need a quick answer to a question about grammar, punctuation, or usage, call the Writer’s Hotline at (803) 777-2078.